Honigman Capitol Report


Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader

Representative Joe Tate (Democrat) will make history for the 2023-24 term after being elected to lead the Democrats in the House of Representatives as Speaker of the House. Rep. Tate, of Detroit, was first elected to the House in 2018 and next year will be his third term in office. He previously served as the Democratic vice chair of the House Appropriations Committee and the Democratic campaign finance chair.

Senator Winnie Brinks (Democrat) will also make history next term after being unanimously elected by the incoming Senate Democratic Caucus as the first woman Senate Majority leader in state history. Sen. Brinks will lead the first Democratic majority in the state since the 1982 elections. Sen. Brinks previously served three terms in the House before flipping a Senate seat for the Democrats in 2018.

Major Policy Items Unlikely During Lame Duck

With the Legislature set to change control in January after last week’s election results, it is unlikely that any major policy will be enacted between now and the New Year. While the agenda for the Legislature during Lame Duck is still outstanding, it is expected to be underwhelming. Governor Gretchen Whitmer has no incentive to engage in serious negotiations with Republican majorities ahead of the changeover.

Democratic Majority to Tackle an Ambitious Agenda in 2023-24 Session

Now that the Democrats have scored full control of state level government, they are expected to push forward with many items that collected dust under Republican control of the state. Top issues for Democrats include rolling back right-to-work and restoring prevailing wage, additional spending on education, infrastructure, health care and environmental protections, and expanding protections under the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. Gun regulations and changes to state tax policy are also expected to rank high on the priority list. Legislators will also take on addressing the key provisions of Proposals 1, 2 and 3 in statute.


Michigan Republican Party Chair Race Heats Up

While the field of potential candidates for the Michigan GOP Chair race increases by the day, there is a potential clash on the horizon as former President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Rick DeSantis could both announce their support for different candidates. Defeated Attorney General candidate Matt DePerno formally announced his campaign on Monday while James Craig, former GOP governor candidate, announced that he will not run. Former Governor candidate Tudor Dixon is also considering joining the list of candidates while current co-chair Meshawn Maddock has not yet announced whether she will run for reelection. The GOP chair of rural Tuscola County, Billy Putnam, has been on the stump since August. The election is scheduled to be held in February at the state GOP convention.


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